Green Room

19,000 jobs and a billion plus in wages lost since drilling moratorium

posted at 4:45 pm on March 22, 2011 by

Meanwhile, President Obama was in Brazil telling the Brazilian people how he just couldn’t wait to help them drill for oil off their shore and, by the way, we’d probably be one of their best customers.

According to CNS News:

At least 13,000 jobs have been lost since last summer’s moratorium on offshore oil production, surpassing projected job losses in a 2010 study by thousands, according to the Louisiana State University professor who authored the study.

Joseph Mason, author of  “The Economic Cost of a Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region,” estimated that the new regional job losses due to the moratorium on offshore oil production in the Gulf region is now 13,000 –  up from his original estimate of 8,000.

Mason also estimated the national job losses to have increased from 12,000 to 19,000; regional wage losses to be $800 million, up from $500 million; national wage losses to be $1.1 billion, up from $700 million; lost tax revenues on the state and local level to be $155 million, up from $100 million; and lost tax revenues on the national level to be $350 million, up from $200 million.

To use one of our president’s favorite words lately, this is simply “unacceptable”.  In fact, it’s simply wrong.  The American petroleum industry could be significantly contributing to the recovery, providing royalties and taxes to the federal treasury and helping bring gas prices down with increased production.  Instead it faces an intractable foe in its own government.

Meanwhile, Obama is out and about touting the wondrous opportunity new oil finds off the coast of Brazil offer that country:

“By some estimates, the oil you recently discovered off the shores of Brazil could amount to twice the reserves we have in the United States.  We want to work with you.  We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.  At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.”

And in case you missed the announcement last year, we’re going to subsidize it with your tax dollars as well:

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount.

Gallup tells us 6 in 10 Americans are in favor of increasing drilling in the Gulf, and yet permits continue to be almost non-existent. This intransigence is costing us jobs, tax revenue we badly need and hitting every American at the pump.

And don’t look for any help from most Congressional Democrats who are complicit in this travesty:

At a press conference Wednesday criticizing Republicans for not bringing forth a jobs plan, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said they would not push the Obama administration to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling.

When CNSNews.com asked Andrews if he would call on the Obama administration to lift the moratorium on offshore production, the congressman said he would not.

“I would not. I would call upon the administration to do what it is doing right now, which is a careful review of the safety and appropriateness of permits that are out there, permitting the ones that are safe to go forward and reviewing the ones that are not fixing.”

He added: “I wonder how many jobs were lost in the tourism industry and in many other industries in the Gulf Coast because of the catastrophic oil spill that took place just a while back. And I think the administration is exactly on the right track to make sure we avoid such a catastrophe in the future. That people drill when it is safe and when it’s legally required and we should not rush to speed that up.”

So tough nuts to all of you unemployed in the oil patch, the Democrats just don’t care.  Your lives, livelihood and that of your families simply don’t make the radar screen of their concerns.  They’re still just as focused on jobs now as when they held the majority, aren’t they?


Bruce McQuain blogs at Questions and Observations (QandO), Blackfive, the Washington Examiner and the Green Room.  Follow him on Twitter: @McQandO

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An incorrigible child has been installed as President.

Why? Because he successfully used the empty rhetoric of hope and change that the Germans fell for.

ericdijon on March 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM

My son in law got back from Iraq in December, and he still can’t find a job because the New Orleans job market is flooded with people unemployed due to the permitorium.

Laura Curtis on March 22, 2011 at 8:02 PM